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Addiction in our Workplaces

The BEACON Coalition is hosting a FREE forum, Addiction in our Workplaces, on Monday, April 30 from 8:30 – 11 AM at Michael’s Harborside in Newburyport. Breakfast and networking from 8:30-9:00 AM, and the presentation from 9 AM- 11 AM.

This forum will educate owners and managers of local businesses about how they can support employees who might be struggling, personally or in their families, with addiction and substance abuse. The forum will include a panel discussion with local police and emergency and health service agencies who will discuss what local services are available and how to access them. In addition, both a local HR Consultant and lawyer will present on current laws that protect employees and policies owners/managers can implement to help create a safe working environment for their staff.

The BEACON Coalition began planning this event, after local business and restaurant owner, Anthony Allen and his wife DD, of Otto pizza expressed the need for more information to support business owners, especially in the restaurant and bar sector. Research has shown that there is a complicated relationship between the restaurant industry and addiction. Studies by NIH and SAMHSA have shown industry workers report high rates of illicit drug use and substance use disorder diagnoses. There is often a subculture of use among restaurant bar workers, due in part to work hours and the nature of the work itself. Last year, the BEACON Coalition presented lunch and learn sessions through the Institution for Savings and felt this would be a great next step in community outreach.

The prevalence of substance abuse and addiction has been climbing in Massachusetts and nation-wide, and we now find ourselves in the middle of an opioid epidemic. Individuals who work in retail, restaurants and bars may be more likely than others to be exposed to a culture of alcohol or other drug use, and therefore an increase in struggles with addiction and substance abuse. “Helping owners and managers become aware of policies and practices that can help support employees who may be struggling with addiction and creating a culture that is safe is important for maintaining healthy employees. This is an opportunity for the Coalition to help businesses increase supports for local residents, and make the establishments safe for employees and customers alike,” says Tina Los, Regional Project Coordinator, Essex County Asset Builder Network.

The BEACON Coalition is Newburyport’s substance use prevention coalition. Over the past 13 years they have implemented policy and practice change that helps build a strong and safe community for all residents, with a special emphasis on supporting youth. The mission of The BEACON Coalition is to reduce high risk behaviors in Newburyport to produce a healthier community, with the hope of Newburyport being a community that welcomes, values, and empowers youth through meaningful opportunities and a collaborative effort to support and strengthen youth assets.

Forum is open to owners and managers of local businesses, bars and restaurants. To reserve your spot please email

For more information please contact:
Andrea Egmont, Director of Youth Services, | 978-465-4434
Jill Panall, HR Consultant of 21Oak Consulting, LLC;

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